“Only the ephemeral is of lasting value.” Eugene Ionesco
Perhaps the moments we cherish most in life, suggests avant-garde playwright Eugene Ionesco, are the ones that only last a short while. With this quote, Ionesco argues that scarcity increases value, and those temporal wonders we experience — a perfect snowflake melting on a fingertip, or the last ring of laughter at a dinner party that had to end — become the memories we delight in forever.
When I read the quote at the Inspiring Quotes website – and I’ll be honest I had to look up the word ephemeral 🙂 – I was intrigued by this thought from Ionesco. It is so simple, like those simple pleasures he mentions, yet carries a meaningful message, much like “Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.”
That quote is often attributed to golfer Walter Hagen in the 1956 book “The Walter Hagen Story” but he didn’t mention roses. The wording of his quote is: “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”
It doesn’t matter to me who coined the quote that included smelling roses, but I do like the message. We so often get caught up in the busyness of life: work, family, friends, social gatherings – well, maybe not so many social gatherings the last few years – that we forget to just stop now and then. Breathe deeply several times. Take a dog for a walk. Or if you don’t have a dog, take yourself for a walk, and see if you can find a flower to appreciate.
Here is a brief summary of his suggestions, and I encourage you to read his whole article when you finish here. (His exact wordage is in bold type.)
1. Hit the “pause” button and take 3 deep breaths. The value of breathing deeply is so often overlooked, or dismissed as being somehow silly. The practice is part of Yoga, bringing ones awareness to their body and their state of being.
2. Make yourself a priority. While it is good and noble to think of others first, sometimes we need self-care to be able to then care for others.
3. Create a gratitude habit. Step outside yourself and consider the welfare of others. Be mindful of the kindness and generosity of others and acknowledge that. Let family members and friends know how much you care about them.
Kupper concludes the article with, “Each of us has 86,400 seconds every day in which to “choose” how we’re going to show up. Be cognizant and aware that you have the power to disengage the autopilot and take back control of how life unfolds. Make the choice to own your clock and calendar to schedule time daily to smell the sweet flowers that are all around us.”
So that’s what I’m going to do today, take a little time to figuratively smell the flowers, since they are all in winter hibernation here. I do have a few pansies, but they’re covered to protect them from freezing, plus they don’t have a perfume, just cute little faces.
What will you do today, and maybe on a daily basis, to stop and regroup and reenergize your spirit?
Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of the assault on our nation’s capital. That is not an anniversary I plan to celebrate, but it is also something that we should not forget, and certainly not downplay.
Two things stand out to me. One is a rallying cry from then President Trump, “We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” Then his followers shouting, “Fight for Trump” as they made their way from the Ellipse, near the White House to the Capital Building.
You can believe what you want about what happened that day, even about the election, but there is no call for the kind of violence we saw on January 6, 2021. None. Nada. What those people who stormed the Capital did is disgusting, disgraceful, and a stain on our society.
I wish there was a rewind button on reality.